Mr. Joseph Glancy

Joseph Glancy (1872 - 1949), 43, was an Irish national and British subject from Clones, County Monaghan, Ireland living in 12 Camden Street, Belfast, County Antrim, Ireland. He was returning to Ireland aboard Lusitania from Canada, where he had worked at Eaton’s department store in Toronto, Ontario. Glancy was saved from the Lusitania sinking by the rescue vessel Brock. Glancy had been born in Clones on 1 May 1872.  His father was a member of the Royal Irish Constabulary and the family moved to Belfast when he was 9. He was brought up Catholic, but the Church did not play a large part in his life until years later.  Glancy had an interest in speeches and acting in local plays.  He had been secretary at the Catch-My-Pal Union in Belfast and was also employed at the law stationery department of the firm of Messrs W. & G. Baird, Limited.  For a while he lived in Dun Laoghaire, near Dublin, where he recommitted himself to his Catholic faith.  Upon returning to Belfast, he immersed himself in church activities. Glancy left Ireland and went to Canada for a year and eight months, where he was employed by Eaton’s in Toronto.  At some point he became engaged and married to an Englishwoman. Before traveling on Lusitania, Glancy had not been aware of the German threats against the ship. He did not witness anything unusual before the ship neared Ireland.  He had been giving out gospel tracts to his fellow passengers some hours before the ship was torpedoed. As the ship neared Ireland, Glancy recalled that Lusitania was sailing in a semi-circular course deducted that there was danger near the ship. Three minutes later, the ship was torpedoed. He recalled the ship shaking “from stem to stern” followed by “a terrific explosion.” Glancy ran below decks to his cabin and grabbed his life jacket. He then went up on deck and put on his life jacket and helped another man put on his. He recalled that the ship seemed to be stationary at the time. One man [perhaps Staff Captain Anderson?] came along the deck, telling everyone that they were safe and that the watertight compartments were closed. However, Glancy noticed that the ship was still sinking. He noticed that many passengers were without lifebelts. Glancy slid down the side of the ship until he was about 12 feet from the water and then “dropped in.” Pieces of wreckage injured an arm and a leg. He sank in the water but shortly resurfaced. By that time, the Lusitania had disappeared beneath the waves. Glancy saw countless men, women, and children struggling in the water, many without lifebelts. His own lifebelt was practically choking him. After three-fourths of an hour in the water, he fell unconscious. He remembered nothing further until he found himself with fourteen others in a broken lifeboat. He and the others on his boat were rescued by the steam trawler Brock and landed at Queenstown (now Cobh), Ireland. Upon his return to Belfast, Glancy left the publishing company he had been working for and committed himself to his faith.  He became an evangelist and traveled throughout the British Isles, making use of his speaking skills that he had polished in his youth.  Two of his most well-known subjects in his speeches were "My deliverance from Rome" and "My deliverance from the Lusitania disaster," which drew large crowds. In his later years, when he no longer spoke in public, he committed his words to paper.  Among the people that he wrote to were members of the Royal Family, the Pope, the Prime Minister, and people from all walks of life.  Sent with each of his letters was a copy of his conversion story. Glancy's last years were spent in the Ballyhackamore area of Belfast, where he remained engaged with his local assembly. His frail health caused him to be confined to his home, where his wife nursed him until his death on 31 December 1949.  He was a much by his community and a large funeral service was held for him.

Links of interest

Believer's Magazine: Whose faith follow: Joseph Glancy (1872-1949)
Contributors: J. G. Hutchinson, UK Senan Molony, Ireland References: Hutchinson, J. G. "Whose faith follow: Joseph Glancy (1872-1949)." Believer's Magazine. Online. <>. Accessed 1 May 2012. Irish Independent, 13 May 1915, pg. 7. Larne Times, 15 May 1915, pg. 9. Molony, Senan. Lusitania: An Irish Tragedy, pg 35-36. Mercier Press, 2004.

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